So I’m watching the movie, Parental Guidance over the holidays when I spot Ralph Branca in this one scene near the end of the movie. How did I know it was Branca, the old Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher famous for serving up the home run pitch to Bobby Thomson that won the 1951 pennant for the New York Giants? Having seen Branca on TV through the years and being the baseball nut I am, it was kind of easy. And given the fact that Billy Crystal played a former baseball announcer in the movie who was trying to help his grandson overcome a stuttering problem, in part by having him listen to and recite the late Russ Hodges’ broadcast of that epic game … well … I quickly concluded that the old guy who appeared at the end of the movie might be Branca. “You know, you’re probably the only person in the theater who knows that,” my wife said. At any rate, I thought it was a nice touch. Do you think Crystal, an old baseball nut himself, had anything to do with sticking Branca in there? Remember the baseball references in Crystal’s film, “City Slickers.” Maybe you were among those who successfully answered the trivia question slipped into the movie, the one about Don Hoak. I thought so.
A lot of buzz over Dick Hayhurst
Okay. I’m going to have to break down and read one of the Dick Hayhurst books. Seems there’s a lot of buzz about Hayhurst and his body of work which consists of three books, including Bullpen Gospels. Look for a review of one of his books in an upcoming blog.